Sunday, February 14, 2010

Afghanistan - they're ready. No they're not

Afghan Attack Gives Marines a Taste of War By C. J. CHIVERS

"But the captain also said the bulk of the company had been together a year or more. These Marines knew each other well, he said, and had trained intensely for this day. “They’re ready,” he said."

And what, exactly, are they ready for? To be shipped home in body bags? To lose their legs or arms, eyesight? To watch their friends killed or maimed? To kill people up close and personal, so they can carry images of the slaughter in their memories eye for the rest of their lives?

Why is this reporting talking like "the game has started, and our team is on the field", and not the reality of it?

It's a bizarro, up is down, world of "news" reporting that talks like this.

Oh, it's a NY Times report. Now I understand. It's the same "paper of record" that pumped up the population for the military invasion of the ME. Recall Judith Miller's concise page 1 reporting?

Another article, paradoxically from the same (schizophrenic?) NY Times:

"Study Suggests More Veterans May Be Helped by Talking About Killing"
"The act of killing is as fundamental to war as oxygen is to fire. Yet it is also the one thing many combat veterans avoid discussing when they return home, whether out of shame, guilt or a deep fear of being misunderstood ... The study, published last week in The Journal of Traumatic Stress, found that soldiers who reported having killed in combat, or who gave orders that led to killing, were more likely to report the symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder, alcohol abuse, anger and relationship problems ... “We need as a culture to find ways to not blame soldiers who are ashamed of killing,” said Ms. Maguen. ... The researchers found that 40 percent of the soldiers surveyed reported killing or being responsible for killing during deployment. ... Twenty-two percent reported symptoms of stress disorder, 32 percent reported symptoms of depression and 25 percent met criteria for alcohol abuse. ... Mental health experts said the new study confirmed findings from research on Vietnam veterans and did not break much new ground. ... “People don’t understand the moral ambiguity of combat and why it is so hard to get over it,” ... “What makes combat veterans ill is not always about being a victim, but, in some instances, feeling very much both a perpetrator and a victim at the same time.”"

Don't you find it odd that the NY Times doesn't put together two of their own stories? How can they pump the Grand Crusade on one hand, with one story, and then on the other hand talk about the consequences, yet keeping both separate from each other, as if they aren't fused together. Story # 1 says "We're ready", and story # 2 says "we're suffering", but there's no connection between the 2 that matters or is going to make any difference. After all, the mission must not be touched or tainted by such connections. Ah! Now I see.

Is it possible the underlying idea is to confuse the reader?

Does it make peoples' heads spin to swing between supporting the Neocon-inspired, "news" supported, crusade to establish Israel's and America's authority in the Middle East, and then turn face and express deep concern for some of it's victims, and at the time cleverly avoiding the cause and effect of making war and it's victims?

Oh, I almost forgot: we're talking about Israel's security! Having launched our military into the Middle East, we can't simply remove them now - that would leave our friend Israel surrounded by enemies - and there's a lot more of them now that we've done all that killing and destruction. No, leaving just it's an option. The only choice left is winning, and so we get to see the "we're ready" pump-up articles for the mission, and some asides of the suffering, but disconnected from each other so we'll continue to support the mission.

How many years has it been now, since the invasion was launched? Just how long does it take to put these thoughts together? No, don't expect it from the wordsmiths at the NY Times, obviously committed to the enterprise, but from yourself and your family, the people who are paying the price.

Update I: See A Separate Peace By Dahlia Lithwick

"Depending on the study you read, somewhere between 20 percent and 50 percent of Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans are suffering from post-traumatic stress and other mental disorders."

Update II: See Picturing the Dead By DAVE LINDORFF


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